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Mahan's Filling Station at Fulgenzi's
Mahan’s Filling Station, a unique example of the earliest of gas stations, is now on display at Fulgenzi’s Pizza & Pasta located across from the Historic Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield. The roadside attraction is now accessible as a great photo and souvenir opportunity for Route 66 visitors. Fulgenzi’s restaurant property itself was once the site of two Route 66 motels and a car painting business in the heyday of the road. Fulgenzi's opened their original family restaurant in 1979 as a “Custard Castle”, which has become a regular stop for 66 travelers.

The late Bill Shea Sr. bought the small service station in 2000 from John Mahan of Middletown to add to the Shea Gas Station museum collection. In 2015, Local entrepreneur Jeff Fulgenzi purchased Mahan’s as the Shea collection was being auctioned off after Shea passed away in 2013. Fulgenzi is committed to keeping the iconic filling station on the Route 66 corridor and has moved the station to Fulgenzi's where it currently is being restored.

Fulgenzi estimates Mahan’s is one of the oldest filling stations still in existence, possibly dating back to 1917. In 2000, the Lincoln Daily News newspaper (which covers Logan County/Middletown) ran a story on the move of the old gas station to Springfield:

“...The little service station has been a part of the Mahan family’s history for as long as they can remember, say Mahan and his sister, Carolyn Seitzer of Lincoln. The family has a picture dated 1939, of the building in its Middletown location. The picture shows a pump with a big glass globe at the top, the type commonly seen before electric pumps came into use in the 1930s. The gas was pumped by hand up into the globe, then allowed to flow down into the automobile’s gas tank, Seitzer says.

Mahan remembers that the building originally stood on Route 136, halfway between Easton and Havana, at a place called Knuppell’s Corner.

‘Dad bought it and moved to Middletown before World War II. He ran it as a Philips 66 Station until he went into the Army. When he came back he ran it for years. He probably closed it in the mid-1950s,’ Mahan remembers.

…Seitzer remembers how hard her father worked when he was running the service station. ‘He was there ten or twelve hours a day, and when he went home people would wake him up at night to pump gas for them. For a while it was the only gas station in Middletown. We lived in a house right next to the station and we had a hose running across the driveway hooked up to a bell in the kitchen. If the bell rang, my father would put down his coffee cup and go out to pump gas.

‘He changed oil and tires by hand, and he sold fan belts, plugs and points, gum and candy bars in the station,’ she remembers. Her father finally had to give up the car repair business because a World War II knee injury became worse and made getting under cars impossible.”

For more information and historical photos, see the original article, courtesy Lincoln Daily News, at http://archives.lincolndailynews.com/2000/Mar/10/features/family.htm.

For more information on the moving of Mahan's Filling Station to Fulgenzi's Restaurant, see the article at www.fulgenzis.com/sheas-filling-station-makes-the-move-to-a-new-home

Alignment 1930
Central Region

1168 Sangamon Ave.
Springfield, IL

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